The Vaccines’ Guide To New Album ‘The Vaccines Come Of Age’

What does coming of age mean for The Vaccines? According to frontman Justin Young, they’ve been breaking out of victimhood and finding their feminine side for album number two.

No Hope
Strokes-ish first single (with vocals via Dylan)
Justin: “I wrote it in our rehearsal space when I was waiting for the others to come in; the melody was written within about half an hour. It wears its heart on its sleeve and I think that’s really important – if you want people to emotionally invest in what you do then you have to be uncomfortably honest.”

I Always Knew

A swooner, sweeping along with a ’60s lilt
“Like most great pop songs, it’s a pretty straight-up love song. Pete [Robertson, drums] wrote the verse and brought the idea in – I rewrote some of the lyrics but I didn’t want to change the sentiment behind it. The band have to feel happy standing for everything I say, so I should feel happy standing for what they say too.”

Teenage Icon

Jaunty single laced with self-deprecating lyrics
“I really hate listening to second record songs, people singing about the place they’ve found themselves in, and then I realised I’ve kind of done that with this song…”

All In Vain
A curveball that swaps riotous romps for something smoother
“Because there’s a lyrical and emotional cohesion I think we felt free for there to not be so much sonic cohesion. It’s important for us not to sound the same across the record, but I guess what ‘All In Vain’ does have in common is that it’s a simple pop song.”

Ghost Town

An atmospheric, bass-led groover that’s already proving a live favourite
“It’s got a good groove; it would make me want to dance. It takes its mood, the atmosphere from the lyrics, but there’s nothing really to get from the lyrics. It’s throwaway, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”

Aftershave Ocean

Starts off clean and mutates into a strange sonic surprise
“This is a real journey; it’s very three-dimensional and it moves, which is the first time we’ve really done that. I think normally once you’ve heard 30 seconds of a Vaccines song you know what the next two minutes will be – it’s not like that at all with this song.”


A Nirvana-tinged brooder and regular live staple
“’A slow one, quite anthemic, with a lot of character in the vocals. It’s quite personal; it’ll be a good headphone song. It’s vocally closer-sounding than we’ve ever been and it’s essentially an argument – it’s not self-deprecating.”

Bad Mood
Full of spiky punk riffs, this one is as intense as its title
“It’s got a lot in common with the first record but has more bite. On that album I was playing the victim a lot, whereas on this I’m really self-aware. I don’t feel like the victim anymore.”

Change Of Heart Pt 2

Another sharp number that finds Justin narrating a doomed romance
“The lyrics are kind of like a folk song – quite story-telling, about a woman telling a man she’s had a change of heart. It’s quite simple; It would sound good as a country rock song, but we’ve done it in our way.”

I Wish I Was A Girl

Lyrically clever, with a surprising punchline
“It starts off describing a woman’s beauty, then when the chorus kicks in you realise ‘I don’t want to fuck her, I want to be her’. I was wondering if being beautiful made life any easier. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, but it’s something I was exploring. Say what you want about my lyrics, but I feel I’ve been quite brave on this record.”

Lonely World
The grand, romantic closer
“I wanted it to be the last song because of the sentiment and the way it builds and the choruses come down. It’s one of the songs I’m most proud of on the record.”

Where did that title come from?
Justin: “I liked that the name of the first record was quite disarming and didn’t take itself too seriously, so I liked the idea of doing something similar on this album. The title isn’t actually a reference to the band… it’s a reference to being a human being. We used a lyric from the first single, like we did on the first album. I love the idea of continuity.”

Release: September 3
Producer: Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon)